Brad Allen: Look, I don't know what's bothering you, but don't take your bedroom problems out on me.
Brad Allen: Ohhh. That's too bad.
Released in 1959, Pillow Talk
was the first of three films starring Doris Day and Rock Hudson. It concerns Jan Morrow, a career woman, and Brad Allen, a playboy songwriter. Much to her chagrin, her phone line is connected to his through a party line; his multiple romances make it near impossible for her to make a decent work-related phone call. When he meets her for real, he disguises his voice and adopts the name Rex Stetson. The charade works since she's never seen him, but can it last?
Often considered the Trope Codifier
for the Romantic Comedy
all the way up to today, it solidified many of the staples of the genre throughout the years: a serious career gal who's too busy for love, a dashing playboy who falls in love
with one of his attempted conquests, a masquerade made to deceive a love interest, Belligerent Sexual Tension
, slapstick comedy, Double Entendre
up the ying-yang, etc etc. For many scholars of the genre, this is the Romantic Comedy
. The film Down with Love
is an Affectionate Parody
of this film and the tropes it popularized.
This work features examples of:
- Bath Kick
- The Casanova: Brad.
- The Cast Showoff: Day and Hudson each get to perform songs in the film, both separately and together.
- Creative Closing Credits: "The End" appears written on some pillows, then pink and blue pillows stack on top of them, each reading, "not quite..."
- Crowd Song: "Roly Poly".
- Cure Your Gays: As Rex, Brad feigns being gay to attract Jan, to try to get her to "cure" him. The ironic subtext was that Brad was played by Rock Hudson, who even played this scene at parties for friends who knew he was gay.
- Deconfirmed Bachelor/Ladykiller in Love
- Distracted by the Sexy
- Dramatic Irony
- Double Entendre: The movie is full of them.
- Hangover Sensitivity: Brad, after his excursion with Alma.
- Oh, Crap: Brad, when Jan finds out the truth.
- Living with the Villain: Jan's unaware that her new boyfriend is also her arch-rival.
- Mr. Seahorse: oddly enough...Brad ducks into an obstetrician's office to avoid Jan and Jonathan and ah, claims to need an appointment for himself. Becomes a Running Gag because the doctor really wants to see him just in case a miracle of science has occurred.
- Pretty in Mink: Jan has a white mink jacket and a lynx-trimmed coat.
- Pull the Thread: Jan deduces Rex's real identity when she plays a few bars of the song she kept hearing on Brad's calls.
- Spiritual Successor: Lover Come Back (1961) and Send Me No Flowers (1964) reunited Day, Hudson, and Tony Randall for further comedic escapades, albeit as different characters in each.
- Split-Screen Phone Call
- Suspiciously Apropos Music: "You Lied". The singer even looks at Rex while singing it.
- Stylistic Suck: Jan's redecorating of Brad's apartment.
- Technology Marches On: The film depends entirely on "party lines," which can make it pretty confusing today.
- Throw It In: The diner patron was supposed to fake decking Tony Randall, but he ended up knocking Randall out for real. That was the take used in the film.
- Title Theme Tune: Sung by Doris Day.